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International 12/16

What this election means for U.S. foreign policy and next steps

The U.S. election season was watched with great interest around the world, and with good reason—with the office of the presidency comes great power in the domain of international affairs. We asked Brookings foreign policy experts what this election means for U.S. foreign policy (both in general and for a particular region or issue they work on), as well as what key recommendation they’d make to the incoming president. Here is what they said:

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What a Trump presidency means for U.S. and global climate policy

At the international climate negotiations in Morocco today, the mood after the election is deeply uneasy as the United States’ role in such efforts is now uncertain. The U.S. has over recent years forged a role as a global leader on clean energy and climate change. At the federal level, the Obama administration oversaw a number of regulatory actions that collectively have driven down overall U.S. emissions and have been on track to a roughly 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020.  Longstanding high investment in energy research and development has paid off in technological advances. States and local jurisdictions have been expanding their own renewable energy goals and improving their preparedness for climate-driven extreme weather events. The U.S. was a key force behind the recent international agreement to include all countries, including the world’s biggest emitter, China, in a rational, robust, and country-based approach to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Education under President Trump doesn’t look as scary as you might think

The federal role in education has been a growth industry since at least the Johnson administration, when the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA, now the Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA) was passed as a part of the War on Poverty, with a focus on closing the achievement gap and equalizing funding between the rich and the poor. Federal involvement in education has trended up consistently, aided and abetted by conservatives who might have been expected to prefer local or state or family control of education decisions but instead expanded federal influences that favored their policy preferences, e.g., No Child Left Behind. Also important are the divisions in political control of the Senate, House, and Executive Branch that made a dramatic change of course unobtainable even if it had been desired.

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Source: Brookings